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Cognition: Episode 2

For: iPad

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Product: Cognition: Episode 2 | Developer: Phoenix Online Studios | Publisher: Phoenix Online Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Cognition: Episode 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
Did you like Cognition: Episode 1?

If the answer is 'yes', then you may as well stop reading this review and go and buy Cogniton: Episode 2.

If you weren't a fan of Episode 1, however, then you may as well stop reading, too. That's because not much has been changed for this second instalment.

If you were on the fence, well, that's a trickier proposition. Phoenix Online Studios has eliminated a few of the little niggles in Episode 1, though a few others have popped up in their place.

If anything, Episode 2 feels a little flatter than its predecessor. And while fans of the first chapter will want to know where Erica Reed goes next, jumping straight into the middle of the story will likely leave newcomers disoriented.

Psychic killer

In Cognition: Episode 2, you're once again playing as Erica, a sort-of maverick FBI agent who's on the trail of a serial killer that murdered her brother. While on the trail of said serial killer, she often finds herself on the trail of other serial killers. This time, it's a killer called The Wise Monkey.

The narrative picks up from where the first game left off. Don't worry: I won't spoil anything here. Suffice it to say, one of Erica's close colleagues is grabbed by The Wise Monkey. It's up to you to follow the clues and find out who the Wise Monkey is and why this murderer is hacking chunks out of music students.

While the subject matter might sound grim, Cognition: Episode 2 isn't as dark as its predecessor. It resembles a police procedural more than anything. And while there are severed tongues and scarred corpses to look at, it all feels a bit tame.

The logical leaps between the puzzles and clues aren't that big. Usually, the most obvious way to solve something will simply plop into your lap later in the game. The characters are less interesting in this chapter, too - you'll often find yourself skimming through dialogue to get to the point.

Not that tense

Erica's psychic powers have grown a little since the last episode. The big twist is her synergy power. This enables you to combine a variety of objects that are connected in one way or another in order to find the next piece of the puzzle.

A hint system that involves texting your dad for help is a little underwhelming. Pretty often, the advice he offers is little more than a poke in a vague direction. The game isn't large enough to get too lost, though. And if you are stuck, it shouldn't take too long to stumble upon the solution.

There's a re-cap of things that happened in the last episode at the beginning of the game. But if you haven't completed it, you're still going to be scratching your head in some sections. Listening to a character you've never met talk about things you've never seen can be a very dull experience.

Cognitive therapy

Cognition: Episode 2 is a point-and-click adventure whose developer is happy to stick to the time-honoured traditions of the genre.

Phoenix Online Studios doesn't do anything surprising in this second chapter, playing an even safer hand here than it did first time around. The controls are less jarring in this episode, mind, though the occasional lack of polish does spoil the atmosphere somewhat.

It's interesting to see how the story develops as you play, and it's nice to be back in Erica's semi-psychic boots again. There's just not much here to really entice new players in.
Cognition: Episode 2
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 21 August 2013
A solid point-and-click adventure, Cognition: Episode 2 is a decent enough sequel, though it lacks the bite of the original
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